How Can I Make my Bathroom Feel Less Cluttered? 5 Tricks for More Minimalist Spaces

You can create a calming, uncluttered bathroom through good design, say these interior designers

a modern white bathroom with dark wood cabinets
(Image credit: Bess Friday. Design: K Interiors)

When a new bathroom is first installed, you may have it styled to perfection, but the reality of what you require from this space can quickly make it feel cluttered.

It's easy for countertops to be overrun with your beauty products, and while you don't want your bathroom to feel soulless, any unnecessary decor can make a small space visually overwhelming - not the vibe you're trying to curate as you relax in the tub.

I asked the experts then: how do you design a bathroom free from clutter? From the right bathroom storage to some layout tricks and just putting some better organization practices into effect, this is what they told me.

1. Actually declutter it

a beige tiled bathroom with storage

(Image credit: Lang Thomas Photography. Design: Britney Groneck)

First things first - when it comes to how to organize a bathroom, if you have too much stuff, you'll never be clutter-free.

'I personally love a calm and zen feel to a bathroom - the bathroom should be a reflection of you and how you want to feel when you're in the space,' says interior designer Britney Groneck. 'I really believe in decluttering the space and getting rid of what you don't need. You might be surprised by all the stuff you collect in bathrooms. All the products, makeup and bottles that sit around. Get it out, declutter and get organized.'

2. Ditch open shelving

a modern bathroom stylishly accessorized

(Image credit: Jacob Snavely. Design: Curated Nest)

Open shelving was once the bathroom trend designers fell back on to help add some personality through decor for these rooms. But times, it appears, have changed.

'We are getting rid of most of our open shelving spaces in effort to “hide” things,' says Kristen Pena, founder of K Interiors. 'The more closed storage the better.'

3. Consider hidden storage

a green marble bathroom with hidden storage

(Image credit: Francois Coquerel. Design: Hauvette Madani)

While more closed storage might be the way forward over shelving, if you just simply fill your space with endless cabinets, it can overwhelm a small bathroom. Look into alternative options to add some variety and interest.

'Closed or hidden storage is your best friend,' says Whitney Romanoff, founder of MeetWest Studio. 'We love a sink skirt , which has tons of personality and charm, is cost effective, and is a great budget friendly way to conceal clutter.'

'We also like to add recessed storage cabinets where you can for storing linens and bath products,' Whitney adds. In this design by French design studio Hauvette Madani, a simple concealed cabinet to the side of the vanity helps keep the countertops clear, but essentials close at hand.

4. Think about placement

a modern white minimalist bathroom

(Image credit: Bess Friday. Design: K Interiors)

Sometimes, open shelving is useful in a bathroom, and nowhere more than when it comes to the bathroom niche. This trendy bathroom features remains the best way to keep showering essentials close at hand, according to designers, but for a less cluttered look, you don't need to make it a focal point.

'When designing a shower, we like to consider the placement of a niche for soaps,' Whitney tells me. 'We like to hide it from view, so you aren't immediately greeted with your assorted shampoo bottles that distract from your beautiful tile or stone.'

Consider a less visually dominating spot for your niche and you'll help retain a more minimalist feel.

5. Be selective

a bathroom with a patterned tile floor

(Image credit: Rett Peak. Design: MeetWest Studio)

The problem with decluttering too much is that a space like a bathroom can quickly feel sterile, especially if you're looking at a more minimalist bathroom design scheme.

However, clutter is, really, only the stuff that's not adding anything to your room, so don't feel like you need to completely empty it. 'Get rid of clutter that is unnecessary,' says Portland-based designer Alissa Pulcrano, founder of Brightdesign Lab, 'but bring in levels of houseplants to create depth, visual layering and to breathe life into your space.'

What is out on show should also be more considered. 'We are providing more and more soap and shampoo vessels to keep things streamlined,' designer Kristen Pena adds. Make sure your towels match each other, and your design scheme - and pare back the design of anything you do have on show so that they're not introducing too many more busy elements.

Luke Arthur Wells
Freelancer writer

Luke Arthur Wells is a freelance design writer, award-winning interiors blogger and stylist, known for neutral, textural spaces with a luxury twist. He's worked with some of the UK's top design brands, counting the likes of Tom Dixon Studio as regular collaborators and his work has been featured in print and online in publications ranging from Domino Magazine to The Sunday Times. He's a hands-on type of interiors expert too, contributing practical renovation advice and DIY tutorials to a number of magazines, as well as to his own readers and followers via his blog and social media. He might currently be renovating a small Victorian house in England, but he dreams of light, spacious, neutral homes on the West Coast.